Talon Build Guide by Halfwaycroox
Not Updated For Current Season
This guide has not yet been updated for the current season. Please keep this in mind while reading. You can see the most recently updated guides on the browse guides page.
Not Updated For Current Season
The masteries shown here are not yet updated for the current season, the guide author needs to set up the new masteries. As such, they will be different than the masteries you see in-game.
Hello, and welcome to my Talon guide! In it, I will explain everything you need to know in order to carry entire teams. Talon is an anti-AP AD Assassin who specializes in annihilating anybody dumb enough to not build armor. In ranked, Talon is a very situational counter-pick, because it is very easy to counter him. In blind pick games, however, he is an extremely difficult champ to play against if you don't know what to do against him. Here are some of his pros and cons:
Deals RIDICULOUS amounts of damage to squishy targets
Very hard to gank once he reaches level 6
Excellent tower-diving capability
No mana problems
Decent multi-target damage
Talon is very underplayed, so not many people know how to counter him
It's very easy to blink onto someone, blow them up, and get away before the rest of their team can react
Hard-countered by armor
If you mess up your combo, you will either die or be forced to escape using your ult
Completely reliant on cooldowns - once you've used your combo in a teamfight, you must escape as quickly as possible.
As you can see, Talon has a lot of things good things going for him. His main issue is that his damage output will be significantly reduced if the enemy builds an early chain vest. How well you do in a game is very dependent on whether or not the enemy knows how to play against you.
Mercy - Passive
This is one of the least useful passives in the game, mainly because Talon doesn't autoattack more than once or twice in a combo. Try to make use of it by jumping on a cc'd enemy, although you should already be doing that anyway.
Noxian Diplomacy - Q
Huge part of your combo. This is what does will do ridiculous damage when strung together with an autoattack and sheen proc, plus the bonus damage from your E. When you blink onto an enemy, autoattack once, then use this immediately afterward.
Rake - W
Your main farming/harassing ability. Use this to poke down your enemies to a reasonable amount of health before you commit yourself to jumping on them.
Cutthroat - E
This is how you start your combo. Decent range blink that silences and gives you bonus damage. Don't rely on the silence to stop an opponent though, because it's such a short duration that a lot of casters won't even be affected.
Shadow Assault - R
This is what makes Talon such a scary assassin. Invisibility, movespeed, and excellent damage. Use this to escape, or as more burst damage in your combo. When this ability is up, it will be very, very hard for enemies to kill you. It also has a short cooldown, so don't be afraid to use it as needed.
Runes/Masteries/Items/Skill Order/Summoner Spells
This is the easiest, most cost-effective AD champion setup. AD reds, Armor yellows, MR blues, and MS quints. For mid, you always want to take flat MR instead of scaling for the early damage resistance. I prefer scaling everywhere else, though. You can also substitute some of the AD reds for armor pen, but those cost twice as much, so if you're just trying to build a standard AD page, AD reds are fine. I like MS quints because of the utility they provide, which helps you get around the map quicker and dodge skillshots more easily. You can also sub them for AD quints if you prefer.
I run 21/0/9, which is the standard setup for most AD Casters/Assassins. Talon does not make much use of crit chance or lifesteal, so Lethality and Vampirism are unnecessary. He also doesn't have mana problems unless you try to poke extremely hard, but a little extra mana/regen are nice and will do a lot more for you than a couple of points in the Defensive tree will.
When building Talon, you want to look at the enemy team comp and what they're capable of. Most of the time you'll want to build Mercury's Treads for the MR and Tenacity. If you get cc'd, you're much more susceptible to death, so Tenacity is extremely important. If you're completely stomping your lane and/or they don't have a lot of cc, you may want to consider Ionian Boots of Lucidity or Boots of Mobility. Talon is entirely dependent on cooldowns, so more CDR is never a bad thing. Mobility boots will allow you to gank other lanes, which Talon does extremely well. If you're not sure what to buy, Merc Treads are generally your safest bet. Make sure you use the Furor enchantment.
You'll generally want to rush The Brutalizer, as it gives everything you need. CDR, Armor Pen, and most importantly, AD. After that, you need to get a Sheen and The Bloodthirster. The order in which you get them isn't too important. If you have the money, a BT is preferable, but if you really need the damage then it's perfectly fine to get the Sheen first. If they're building armor, then a Last Whisper is vital. If not, stack The Bloodthirster to your heart's content. Trinity Force is good once you've completed the rest of your build. Youmuu's Ghostblade is completely useless now that The Black Cleaver is good. Build The Brutalizer into The Black Cleaver before or after your Sheen, depending on how much armor the opponent currently has. Guardian Angel is never a bad idea.
Buy whichever boot works best for the situation (9/10 times this will be )
-> -> -> then get whatever else you need.
Start off with Rake. This is your main poking/harassing/farming ability. At level two, take a point in Cutthroat and leave it there. Max Rake first, then Noxian Diplomacy, taking points in Shadow Assault whenever possible. Max Cutthroat last.
Flash and Ignite. These spells provide the most utility and damage potential. Flash is great for escaping, ganking, etc., and Ignite can secure the kill on a fleeing enemy or add to your burst damage. It's also affected by the bonus damage from Cutthroat, so feel free to take advantage of that. There's not much of a reason to take other spells. Exhaust isn't necessary, because you already have a slow from Rake, not to mention that you shouldn't have to chase down enemies much. Ghost is also unnecessary. Teleport is an option, but I prefer Flash and Ignite. Take it if you feel like you absolutely have to. No other spells are even worth mentioning.
Special Note Regarding the Black Cleaver
The Black Cleaver has been patched and now has a unique passive, as well as reduced armor penetration. However, it is still an excellent item and deserves a place in the build. I would recommend getting it either before or after Sheen, depending on how badly you need the armor penetration.
How to Play Talon
First and foremost, Talon is a mid champion. He's very ineffective in the jungle because of his low sustain and squishiness, and he has a lot of trouble top lane due to the fact that bruisers tend to build armor. Thus, the obvious place to send him is mid. If you plan on playing Talon, it is very helpful to have an AP top/jungler, otherwise the opponent is more likely to build armor. Even with The Black Cleaver/ Last Whisper, Talon still has a lot of trouble against opponents that build armor. I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH.
THINGS YOU NEED ON TALON:
- Armor Penetration
- Cooldown Reduction
THINGS YOU DON'T NEED ON TALON:
- Crit Chance
- Health/Mana Regen
- Movement Speed
- Attack Speed
- Anything that isn't CDR/Damage/Armor Pen
"But wait!" you might say. "If Talon doesn't need movement speed, why do you recommend MS Quints?"
Good question. There's a few reasons for that. First and foremost, this guide assumes that you're an average player that doesn't need, want, or have time to create champion-specific rune pages. MS Quints are the best overall choice for Quintessences, especially for mid champions. The other reason is because MS Quints and Tier 2 boots will give you all the movement speed you'll ever require. You'll be fast enough to keep up with or chase down most champions, and you'll be able to effectively dodge skillshots. Finally, building any extra movement speed items will severely gimp your damage. As with any AD caster/assassin, Talon needs all the AD he can get, so you'll want to build as effectively as possible.
Generally, you'll want to poke them down with Rake, then Cutthroat on top of them, autoattack once, Noxian Diplomacy, then Rake. Get autoattacks in as much as possible, because they add to your burst. If you need to finish them off or escape, use Shadow Assault. Remember that Noxian Diplomacy resets your autoattack, so attacking once, then using Noxian Diplomacy immediately afterward will give you the most damage output. This is also good to use against turrets and creeps.
Note: I find it difficult to land Rake if your opponent doesn't move after you start attacking them. It's absolutely vital to land this, so you may want to move a very short distance away from them or wait for them to start running before you use it. Smartcasting also helps tremendously.
One very important thing to remember is that you shouldn't rely on the silence from Cutthroat. It has a very short duration, and oftentimes the enemy won't even notice. However, you can generally kill someone before they even have time to react, so this isn't a huge issue.
In teamfights, you'll want to locate their squishiest person and unload on them. Don't be afraid to jump into the middle of the enemy team once you get enough AD. By the time they react, you'll have already killed your target and used Shadow Assault to escape if necessary. Shadow Assault and Rake deal respectable AoE damage, so chances are you'll take out a pretty good chunk of health from everyone else in the area as well.
Once you've blown your cooldowns, you need to leave the danger zone immediately. If Shadow Assault is down, you're much more vulnerable. Wait for your abilities to come back up, and jump on anybody you can kill. At this point, the enemy team will have either backed off or killed you and the rest of your teammates. Choosing who to focus in teamfights is one of the most important aspects of being a good Talon player.
Ranked Play/Team Comp
As previously stated, Talon is an extremely situational pick in ranked. Don't even think about playing him if you don't already have a solid AP champ on the team going somewhere other than mid.
Champions that synergize well with Talon:
Be very careful with Elise, as that will leave you with two exceptionally squishy champs, not including your ADC. It can still work if you have your jungler and support have a lot of tankiness/CC. If you've got a squishy top, make sure your AD carry has a lot of mobility.
The most important thing to have on a team with Talon besides a tanky AP champ is crowd control. Diana is my favorite champ to have alongside Talon because she's tanky, deals a lot of damage, and has good CC. Use a jungler such as Maokai, Skarner, or Amumu. All of them are tanky AP champs with hard CC and lots of utility. Lee Sin and Shyvana are bad ideas because they lack hard CC (excluding Lee's ult). Some good ideas for supports are Taric, Leona, and Alistar. Stay away from Sona and Soraka. Sona can still be an okay choice because of her ult, but her squishiness and general lack of CC hold her back. Keep in mind, this is solely in regards to team comps for Talon. Sona, Lee Sin, Shyvana, and Soraka are all excellent champions and can fit in with many good team comps, but they simply don't synergize well with Talon.
So, what do we need in regards to team comp?
- Lots of CC
If you're planning on playing Talon, your team needs to essentially be built around him, while still maintaining its integrity as a viable comp. Of course, all of this doesn't even include what the enemy team is picking.
Pick Talon when the enemy team has...
- A lot of squishies
- A lot of AP
Don't pick Talon when the enemy team has...
As you can probably tell, the big issue with Talon is that a lot of conditions have to be met in order for him to be a viable pick in ranked. However, with the right team comp on both sides, Talon can be an incredibly effective assassin and will carry the team under the right circumstances.
If you're unsure about whether or not you should play Talon, then don't.
It's far too easy to get counterpicked and shut down if you don't know what you're doing. Unless you've got a lot of practice with Talon and are confident in your abilities to outplay your enemy and adapt to a multitude of situations, I would recommend sticking to normals with him.
That about covers it. Talon is an easy champion to pick up, but requires a lot of general game knowledge for positioning and choosing when to commit yourself to a fight and who to commit yourself to. Successfully blowing up their AD/AP carry can and will turn the tide of a teamfight, whereas wasting your Shadow Assault will severely gimp your damage and effectiveness until it comes back up.
Thank you for reading my guide. If you have any questions/comments/suggestions, Please leave them in the comments section and I'll respond within a day or so. My IGN is Halfwaycroox, feel free to add me if you'd like. I will generally accept all friend requests unless my friend list is full (which is highly unlikely >.>). Happy pubstomping!